Everyone loves a sugary treat every now and then, and it’s hard to ignore that sweet tooth craving once it takes hold. But even though your taste buds feel satisfied, indulging in too much sugar isn’t just bad for your waistline, it’s also bad for your teeth.
The more sugar you eat, the higher your risk of experiencing tooth decay, so resolving to reduce the amount of sugar in your diet is a simple way to ensure your smile can be bright and beautiful.
Thankfully, you don’t have to eliminate sugar completely from your diet (phew!). Instead, just make a few minor changes.
Consider switching from soda and juice to water
Make the switch to sugar-free gum
Try putting a bit less sugar in your coffee or tea
Instead of getting through the afternoon slump with some candy or chocolate, snack on trail mix or fruit
Eating healthier can give your body the nutrients it needs to thrive, but the right diet could also protect the health of your teeth and gums. There are foods that can help keep your teeth clean naturally, and those are the ones you want to stock your fridge with.
Pasta, bread, crackers, chips, and other refined and starchy carbs are delicious, but they could actually be as damaging as candy. That’s because starches from white flour are nothing more than simple carbs. They’ll hang around inside your mouth and break down into simple sugars that bacteria can feed on. That results in acid, which could lead to tooth decay.
To support the strength of your teeth from the inside out, calcium-rich foods are a great choice. But to help prevent nasty bacteria from lingering in your mouth, consider eating fibrous foods, like fruits and raw veggies. These will stimulate saliva production that can help flush bacteria from your teeth and gums. Plus, the texture of these foods acts a bit like a natural toothbrush.
Want to get it all in one meal? Feast on veggies like kale, collard greens, kelp, broccoli, and spinach, as they’re both fibrous and high in calcium!
If you’re an avid coffee drinker, consider swapping a cup or two of java every day for a cup of black or green tea instead. In addition to antioxidants that fight free radicals, there are compounds within tea that can work on suppressing bacteria in your mouth—the kind of bacteria that could lead to gum disease and tooth decay.
Tip: Try drinking your tea sans sugar, or gradually reduce the amount of sugar that you need. Its natural flavor will come through without the added sweetness that could undo the positive effects of this soothing beverage.
Kicking your tobacco habit could help you become healthier in more ways than one. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), smoking and chewing tobacco could double the risk of developing gum disease, and they could also increase your risk of other serious conditions, including oral cancer and lung cancer.
To reduce your odds of losing teeth and developing unsightly yellow teeth, dry mouth, and bad breath, consider taking steps to wean yourself off of your addiction. With the help of nicotine replacement products, you can be well on your way to clearer lungs, a cleaner mouth, and a gorgeous smile in no time.
Are you drinking enough water every day? You’ve likely heard all of the health reports on the importance of drinking water to stay hydrated, but water is more powerful than you think when it comes to oral health.